What is this plant… ?

What is this plant… ?

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I would like to know what is this plant ? Does anybody have an idea ? Somebody offered it to me but there is no explanation about how to care about it… Some purple flowers appeared, during 2-3 days. And now it seems it lacks something, but I don't really know what to do :(

Any idea ? Thank you very much !

That is a beautiful Pink Quill, or Tillandsia cyanea. I have included two websites below about this plant, both of which include care tips.


Plant Biology

Plants are fundamental to life on earth. Plant biologists use these important organisms to address issues such as global climate change, food insecurity, loss of biodiversity, and disease. The Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Plant Biology offers students the opportunity to conduct research on plants&mdashranging from the cellular level to the whole-plant level.

Students' program of study includes a comprehensive set of team-taught courses that reflect the breadth of scientific fields, and the linkages between them. All students must also complete a thesis based on their own original research.

Current Plant Biology

This journal aims to acknowledge and encourage interdisciplinary research in fundamental plant sciences with scope to address crop improvement, biodiversity, nutrition and human health. It publishes review articles, original research papers, method papers and short articles in plant research fields.

This journal aims to acknowledge and encourage interdisciplinary research in fundamental plant sciences with scope to address crop improvement, biodiversity, nutrition and human health. It publishes review articles, original research papers, method papers and short articles in plant research fields, such as systems biology, cell biology, genetics, epigenetics, mathematical modeling, signal transduction, plant-microbe interactions, synthetic biology, developmental biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics and plant genomic resources.

To further encourage collaboration in the community, all accepted authors of Research articles are required to make their data accessible to the public. This will avoid duplicate projects and speed up the progress of science. The journal will actively link and cooperate with some of these databases, as well as with computational infrastructure. Data should always be submitted in raw data format, and should be submitted preferentially in publicly accessible resources maintained by for example EBI, EMBL, or NCBI data. Which data repository is used is up to the authors, however please visit for more information on depositing and linking your data with a supported data repository. For datatypes for which no such repositories exist, data should be made available through the supplementary information or the authors own website. If the data has been processed into e.g. pathways or models, then this should be made available also during the review process.

For more submission information, see our Guide for Authors.

The editorial and publishing team of the journal is dedicated to being efficient in the manuscript handling. The journal uses a double-blinded peer review, to avoid bias in the review process. The resulting publications will be open access.

What is this plant… ? - Biology


Biology of Plants and the Study of Botany

  • Instructor of Record: Dr. Martin Huss.
  • Handed out syllabus/course policy to students.
  • Reviewed course policy, emphasis on grade evaluation, examination format, testing dates, make-up policy, etc.
  • Reviewed general information found in syllabus (e.g., reading assignments, office phone number, office hours, etc.).
  • Read book (reading assignments listed in the syllabus), exams will cover both lecture and reading assignments.
  • Beginning of chapters have an outline and a chapter overview: review these!
  • Bold-faced headings and terms - know these terms or concepts.
  • Read chapter summaries.
  • Review Questions - some test and quiz questions will be based on review questions at the end of the chapter.
  • Look at diagrams and figures given in each chapter that is covered.
  • Re-write your lecture notes the same day these are given.
  • Cross-reference your notes with the ones posted on the internet.
  • Ask questions.
  • The Department of Biological Sciences also offers free tutoring for students who are enrolled in this and other 1000 to 2000 level undergraduate biology courses. Contact LSE 202 for more information.
  1. Plants - common examples (e.g., duckweed, redwood tree, etc.) and biodiversity.
  2. Characteristics of Plants.
  3. Role of plants in the biosphere.
  4. Beneficial Effects of Plants
  5. Brief history of botany.
  6. Botany or Plant Biology and the Nature of Science.
  7. Activities associated with plant life and life in general.

Name a plant! (Duckweed, geranium, apple tree, oak tree, dandelion, algae, redwood tree, carrot, etc.). Lots of biodiversity! Plants come in different shapes, sizes. Some are short-lived, others live for hundreds of years. Plants have adapted to a wide variety of habitats, and methods of reproducing and dispersing themselves.

According to E. O. Wilson in his book, "The Diversity of Life" there are about 248,400 species of higher plants (i.e., ferns, gymnosperms, bryophytes, flowering plants). There are about 26,900 species of algae.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE - Many species biodiversity is high!

III. Role of plants in the biosphere

Energy flow from sun to producers yellow arrow = sunlight. Energy and material flow from producers to other organisms green arrows material flow from environment = gray arrow (e.g., carbon dioxide, water, and nutrients) material flow from consumers and decomposers back to producers = red arrow (e.g., carbon dioxide, water, and nutrients). Of the three (producers, decomposers, and consumers), which two are essential to life on earth? (Answer: producers and decomposers). Least significant are the consumers, although these can be important ecologically for specific plants (e.g., pollination and seed dispersal).

IV. Beneficial Effects of Plants

1. Food
2. Resupply oxygen to atmosphere (11 year supply on earth).
3. Maintain the climate (deforestation is of concern).

CONSIDER DOING THIS: Make a list of plants and plant products that you have come in contact over the course of a single day. List the plant and how it was used by yourself. List a particular usage only once. For example, don't list tomato if you eat the fruit in a salad or on a hamburger twice. But if you eat ketchup then list it again. How does this list relate to the quality of your everyday life?

What kinds of plants/plant products have you come in contact with today? Examples: Food, m edicine, spices, fibers, paper, clothing, lumber, oxygen, fuel (coal and wood), toothpicks, toilet paper, paper money, soft drinks, drugs, and so on.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE - Plants are necessary for our continued existence and quality of life.
V. Brief history of botany.

Early human cultures were hunter/gatherers. One of the first professions was botany (plant taxonomy), because it was important knowledge to be able and distinguish poisonous from edible plants.

About 8,000 -12,000 years ago something happened that changed the heart of human society. What was it? Answer: Agriculture!

Agriculture - fossilized plant remains (e.g., seeds, charred plant remains, pollen) in archaeological digs of human encampments place the discovery of agriculture about 8,000 to 12,000 years ago.

Most ancient civilizations (e.g., Chinese, Egyptians, Assyrian, Inca, Mayan, etc.) practiced agriculture regardless of their geographical location in the world. Indigenous plants (and animals) were domesticated by each respective society.

Two hypotheses about origin of agriculture:

1. Independent discovery in different parts of world.
2. Diffusionist hypothesis - discovery originated in one part of the world and spread from
one civilization to another.

Plants for food/medicine:

In preliterate societies, knowledge of what was good or bad was passed on in oral traditions, usually through religious leaders - the 'medicine man' or shaman among certain North American Indians and their counterparts in other societies (e.g. priests, rabbis, teachers).

  • plant taxonomy and biogeography
  • plant physiology
  • plant ecology
  • plant morphology, anatomy, and developmental biology
  • plant cytology (cell structure and function)
  • plant genetics
  • ethnobotany and economic botany
  • genetic engineering - for crop improvement, insect repulsion, soil reclamation, longer shelf-life of fruits, disease resistance, etc.
  • plant taxonomy and biogeography
  • plant physiology
  • plant ecology
  • plant morphology, anatomy, and developmental biology
  • plant cytology (cell structure and function)
  • plant genetics
  • ethnobotany and economic botany
  • genetic engineering - for crop improvement, insect repulsion, soil reclamation, longer shelf-life of fruits, disease resistance, etc.

TAKE-HOME MESSAGE: The field of botany is a culmination of many historical events and consists of many different scientific disciplines.

VI. Botany or Plant Biology and the Nature of Science.

Science is an organized system of knowledge a obtained by a special method b , the "scientific method", of research and aimed at explaining the causes and behavior of the natural universe c .

a There are different kinds of knowledge a : e.g., knowledge of a language, literature, automotive mechanics, cooking, law, philosophy, the meaning of words.

Science is not about proof or absolute truth. Science is more about reducing uncertainty then stating things as hard cold fact.

1. Problem or question based on observation.
2. Hypothesis - "education guess" to answer or explain the question.
3. Experimentation (to determine if the hypothesis is valid or not).
A. Prediction
B. The test
4. Conclusion

c Natural universe - Science can say how a guitar string creates sound when plucked, but it can say little about the aesthetic value of music. Science can say nothing outside it's realm of expertise, in regard to ethics, morality, and the supernatural.

Disclaimer: When scientists engage in scientific research, most of them don't sit down and think, "Gee, I think I'll make an observation. What kinds of questions come to mind? Perhaps I should write down some potential hypotheses. 1,2,3, 4 etc. Ah, now let's see, I will do an experiment to test one of my hypotheses. I will engage in inductive and deductive reasoning". Scientists don't act like the stereotypic characters on television shows (e.g., Mr. Spock from Star Trek or the Professor from Gilligan's Island). Creativity, personal biases, hard work, hit and miss speculation, experimentation, availability of funds and resources, existence of appropriate technology, and dumb luck all come into play. The reason for outlining the "scientific method" is to try to dissect the essential elements of the process. Also scientists aren't like Bill Nye - the science guy, Mr. Wizard, or Beakman from Beakman's World. These are science educators, but when they do experiments they already know what the outcome of the experiment will be. Not so with scientists. FACT: a confirmed or, at least, agreed-upon empirical observation (or conclusion if referring to an "inferred" fact). For example, a fossil is generally accepted by most biologists as evidence for life in the distant past, even if the apparent life form no longer exist in today's world (e.g., dinosaurs, ammonites - an extinct mollusk, etc.). That fossils are the remnants or the products of something once alive is an inferred fact, even though the living organism is no longer present.

HYPOTHESIS: a proposed explanation of certain "facts" that must be empirically testable in some conceivable fashion.

THEORY: an integrated, comprehensive explanation of many "facts" and an explanation capable of generation additional hypotheses and testable predictions about the way the natural world looks and works. A generally accepted scientific theory is a well-tested hypothesis supported by a great deal of evidence. The scientific definition of theory is different then what is used by the lay person - like a guess. "Oh well, it's only a theory". In fact a theory is well tested, and if consistent with the data, possesses a high degree of certainty (although not equivalent to proof).

VII. Activities associated with plant life (and life in general).

In your mind consider the question of which of the following objects you would consider to be alive and not alive. At beginning of this section, ask the class which of the following objects is alive. A frog, a stone, a virus, a seed, and a tree.

What did you base your answer on? Most people have an intuitive feel or sense for determining what is alive or not alive. But coming up with a precise definition is difficult. In 1994, a conference of scientists argued whether or not viruses, which appear to have properties of both being living and nonliving were alive or not. One scientist, by the name of Stephen Hawking has publicly argued that not only are biological viruses alive, but that computer viruses constitute an artificial life form.

Plant Ecology

Since plants are capable of photosynthesis, they do not need to hunt or feed on animals for food (with the exception of carnivorous plants). They can manufacture their own food by utilizing energy from light, carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and water molecules. Nevertheless, one of the sources of carbon dioxide is the waste that animals breathe out during respiration. In return, they give off oxygen as a waste product of photosynthesis. Oxygen is crucial to the survival of aerobic organisms, including animals.

Plants derive other vital nutrients from the minerals dissolved in the soil. They absorb them via their roots. Some of the macronutrients they derive from the soil are calcium, magnesium, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur. As for micronutrients, plants absorb boron, chloride, copper, iron, manganese, and molybdenum. Thus, dead parts of, or entire, plant leads to their decomposition and the return of essential minerals and compounds to the Earth.

Because of their sense of independence, they are often placed at the start of a food chain. They are the major producers in an ecosystem. Thus, the extinction of plant species can cause a major impact on an ecosystem. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Red List of Threatened Species, a system of assessing the conservation status of species worldwide, utilized a system of labeling species based on extinction risk. Accordingly, species may be categorized as: “data deficient”, “least concern”, “near-threatened”, “vulnerable”, “endangered”, “critically endangered”, “regionally extinct”, “extinct in the wild”, and “extinct”. In 2016, IUCN reported 2,493 plants were critically endangered whereas 3,654 plants are endangered. 5
Plants interact with other organisms and form symbiosis. Examples are as follows:

    e.g. plants providing nectar for honeybees while honeybees help spread plant’s pollen grains – e.g. carnivorous plants that capture insects and small animals – e.g. plants that compete with other plants for habitat in terms of available space and nutrients – e.g. plant’ fruits that stick to animal fur for free transport – e.g. parasitic plants that derive nutrients from their host, such as Cuscuta (dodder) that attaches on, and produces haustoria that absorb nutrients from, an acacia tree

In 2011, the Census of Marine Life estimated that there could be around 8.7 million eukaryote species on Earth, and of this figure, about 298,000 was predicted to be the total number of plant species. 215, 644 had already been described and cataloged . 6

Plants have the ability to produce their own food. Learn about the biology of plants.

Explore Earth’s natural environments and discover the life that lives there.

Our brilliantly simple book will take you through the fundamentals of biology in a way that is easy to follow and avoids difficult science jargon. Easy and enjoyable to read, the book introduces topics such as genetics, cells, evolution, basic biochemistry, the broad categories of organisms, plants, animals, and taxonomy.

FREE 6-Week Course

Enter your details to get access to our FREE 6-week introduction to biology email course.

Learn about animals, plants, evolution, the tree of life, ecology, cells, genetics, fields of biology and more.

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Basic Biology: An Introduction

Also available from Amazon, Book Depository and all other good bookstores.

General Plant Biology Option

The Plant Science Major, General Plant Biology option is for students intending to pursue graduate study or research careers in laboratories.

Curriculum for the Major in Plant Science, General Plant Biology option (91&ndash97 credits)

    Plant Science Major Requirements (37&ndash38 credits)

  1. 01:119:115 General Biology I (4)
  2. 01:119:116 General Biology II (4)
  3. 01:119:117 Biological Research Laboratory (2)
  1. 01:110:101 General Biology (4)
  2. 01:110:102 General Biology (4)
  1. 01:160:161 General Chemistry (4)
  2. 01:160:162 General Chemistry (4)
  3. 01:160:171 Introduction to Experimentation (1)
  1. 11:776:495,496 Special Problems in Plant Science
  2. 11:015:497,498 George H. Cook Scholars Program
  3. 11:902:300,301,400 SEBS Internship I, II, Coop
  4. 11:550:240 Public Garden Management required for the Public Garden Management Internship and the Student Farm Internship at Rutgers Gardens
  5. 11:020:321 Principles and Practice of Small-scale Organic Farming as required for the Student Farm Internship at Rutgers Gardens
  6. Study Abroad
  7. SEBS International Summer Study Abroad Program
  8. ARESTY Research Assistant Program
  1. 01:730:107 Introduction to Ethics (3)
  2. 01:730:240 Bioethics (3)
  3. 01:730:250 Environmental Ethics (3)
  4. 11:607:385 The Ethical Leader (3)
  1. 11:776:102 Soil and Society (3)
  2. 11:776:405 Soil Fertility (3)
  3. 11:776:404 Soil Management for Sports and Landscape Applications (3)
  4. 11:375:453 Soil Ecology (3)
  5. 11:375:360 Soils and Water (4)
  1. 11:776:210 Principles of Botany (3)
  2. 11:776:211 Introduction to Horticulture (3)
  3. 11:776:242 Plant Science (3)
  1. 01:640:135 Calculus I (4) OR equivalent
  2. 01:640:136 Calculus II (4) OR equivalent OR 01:960:401 Basic Statistics for Research (3)
  1. 01:160:307 Organic Chemistry (4)
  2. 01:160:308 Organic Chemistry (4)
  3. 11:115:403 General Biochemistry (4)
  4. 11:115:404 General Biochemistry (3)
  1. 11:776:305 Plant Genetics (4) OR 01:447:380 Genetics (4)
  2. 11:776:382 Plant Physiology (4)
  3. 11:776:452 Plant Tissue Culture and Engineering (3)
  4. 11:126:413 Plant Molecular Biology (3) OR 11:126:481 Molecular Genetics (3)
  1. A total of 12 credits from any 11:776:xxx course at the 200 level or above
  2. 01:960:401 Basic Statistics for Research (3)

or advisor approved elective

Gametophyte and Sporophyte

The life cycle of a plant involves the alternation of two generations: gametophyte and sporophyte. However, what is the difference between these phases and what are their distinguishing factors? Learn about these generations in this BiologyWise article.

The life cycle of a plant involves the alternation of two generations: gametophyte and sporophyte. However, what is the difference between these phases and what are their distinguishing factors? Learn about these generations in this BiologyWise article.

When you’re studying the life cycle of plants, fungi, and protists, you will come across the term alternation of generations. This alternation of generation refers to the alternation of two phases: a multicellular diploid phase alternating with a multicellular haploid phase. These generations are phases in the reproduction cycle of the plant. One is sexual, while the other is asexual. There are several differences between gametophyte and sporophyte stages. Let us have an individual look at them to understand them better.

Sporophyte (2n)

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This phase in the life cycle of a plant is the asexual, spore-bearing generation of the plant, featuring diploid cells. This means the cells of the plant in this generation or phase have two sets of chromosomes in their cells. The zygote or fertilized cell is what conduces to form the sporophyte.

By the process of meiosis (reduction division), this sporophyte produces haploid spores. Since spores are formed in this generation, the name given to this phase is sporophyte. The haploid spores produced will then form the next gametophyte generation by growing into multicellular haploid individuals called gametophyte.

We learned above that the zygote or fertilized cell is diploid however, the spores formed by them are haploid. This takes place because of reduction division or meiosis that takes place. Meiosis is a process in which the number of chromosomes in each cell is cut down to half and the following cells formed will have half the number of chromosomes of their parent cells.

Gametophyte (n)

The other alternating phase in the life cycle of the plant is the gametophyte generation, in which gametes are formed. This is that phase of the plant in which the gametes, that is the egg and sperm formed are haploid (n), having only one set of chromosomes in them. Thus, gametophyte phase is the sexual, gamete producing stage in the life cycle of the plant.

Spores are actually the first cells of the gametophyte generation. These spores undergo the process of mitosis, by which identical cells with the same number of chromosomes are formed. Male and female gametes with equal ‘n’ number of chromosomes are formed. When these gametes meet, they fuse together, get fertilized and form the zygote, which is diploid (2n). Note that the chromosome number here doubles from ‘n’ to 𔃲n’.

This diploid zygote then forms the basis of the next alternating sporophyte generation. It forms the first cell of the diploid sporophyte generation. This zygote then grows into the sporophyte, which then later forms the haploid spores in the sporophyte generation, and the cycle continues in the plant’s life cycle.

Gametophyte Vs. Sporophyte

✤ While considering gametophyte versus sporophyte generations, there are some stark points, such as sporophyte is a diploid phase, whereas gametophyte is a haploid generation.

Would you like to write for us? Well, we're looking for good writers who want to spread the word. Get in touch with us and we'll talk.

✤ Sporophyte stage is asexual, while gametophyte stage is sexual.

✤ The first cell in a sporophyte generation is the diploid zygote, while the first cell in the gametophyte stage is the haploid spore.

✤ In the sporophyte phase, haploid spores are formed and in the gametophyte phase, diploid male and female gametes are formed.

✤ As far as dominance is concerned, in liverworts and mosses, the gametophyte stage is the larger and familiar form of the plant, whereas the sporophyte stage is smaller and is found growing on the gametophyte stage.

✤ In angiosperms, sporophyte phase is the larger and independent phase, while the gametophyte phase is small and reduced to pollen grain and an eight-celled female gametophyte situated inside the ovule.

This alternation of generation is highly significant in plants, as it increases the chances of the plant’s survival in the long run. The next generation becomes even more adaptable to the environment. The formation of spores from parent cells causes shuffling of genes, conducive to new, different, and stronger genetic makeups. Then in the gametophyte stage, when gametes are formed with no reduction division, the zygote formed is better adapted to the environment. Thus, both these generations are truly significant phases in the life cycle of a plant.

Related Posts

Plant cells have always spurred curiosity amongst biology students, besides others. Hence, here in this article, I have provided some detailed information.

Plant growth is the process by which the plant grows in size. A matured plant has a strong stem and healthy leaves. The growth process is enhanced by the nutrients&hellip

Are you looking for information on plant cell organelles and their functions? Here is a brief information about the list of organelles present in a plant cell and the roles&hellip

Chromatography Lab

Problem: How do you separate the different pigments in a plant?

Cone-type (size 4) coffee filter paper (or Whatman #1 chromatography paper)
large glass jars
distilled water
capillary tubes
fresh spinach
mortar and pestle
clean sand

In this activity you will be experimenting with a technique called chromatography which will allow you to visually demonstrate that the pigment in leaves is a combination of several different colored pigments.

This technique is useful in that it can separate and identify the various components of mixtures, such as those contained in plant pigments. A pigment is a substance that absorbs light at specific wavelengths, chlorophyll is one of these pigments. Its green-yellow in color is due to the absorption of red, orange, blue, and violet wavelengths and the reflection of the green and yellow wavelengths. This occurs when white light (containing all of the light wavelengths, or the entire spectrum of colors) shines on the leaf surface, all of the wavelengths are absorbed except for the ones you see, which are green-yellow, those are the portions of the spectrum being reflected.

If the conditions are identical, the relative distance moved by a particular compound is the same from one mixture to another. This is why chromatography can be used to identify a compound. The actual identification requires a simple calculation as shown below:

Rf = distance moved by compound from original spot divided by the distance moved by solvent from original spot

It is important to remember that several factors can influence the reliability of the Rf value, these include humidity, temperature, solvent, pigment extract preparation, and the amounts of the material present. Values are comparable only when the extracts are prepared in the same way and the chromatograms are prepared identically and developed together in the same container.

Acetone is flammable (even the amount found in nail polish remover), keep it away from sparks or open flames. Wear eye protection, especially if using pure acetone.

1. Each lab group (or individual if not working in groups) will need 4 strips of filter paper, approximately 6 inches long and 1 inch wide, 2 chromatography development containers (500 ml beakers or large fruit jars work well), 2 large rubber bands (able to stretch around the vessels from the mouth to the bottom of the vessel), 2 solvents, water and either pure acetone, or nail polish remover.

2. Do the following with both fresh spinach leaves tear leaf material and place in a glass container, cover with acetone (this should be done the day before the actual lab activity). An alternative pigment extraction technique is to use a
mortar and pestle. Place plant material the vessel, add a little clean sand, some acetone and then grind until a dark green liquid appears. Both techniques yield very dark pigments with which to work. Be certain to keep the pigments apart throughout the entire activity.

3. Place one of each solvents (water and acetone, or nail polish remover) in the chromatography vessels and stretch a rubber band length-wise around each vessel. The rubber band will be the mechanism for hanging the chromatography strips.

4. Make a pencil mark on each of the 2 chromatography strips, in the center, directly above the point of the strip, about 1 inch from the tip of the paper. Using a capillary tube, or tooth pick, apply the plant pigment to each filter paper strip. This is done by touching the tooth pick or capillary tube which has been dipped in the pigment, to the pencil mark. Make an application, then wave the paper gently to dry it a little before the next application. Be patient, you will need 12 to 15 applications.

5. By now you should have 2 strips with spinach pigment. Suspend one of each in each of the chromatography development vessels. You can attach them with paper clips, or simply fold over a portion of the end and it should hang in place. The tip of each strip should just touch the solvent.

6. Wait 20 to 30 minutes for the chromatograms to develop. Remove the chromatograms. Mark with a pencil (NOT a pen) where the solvent stopped as it moved up the chromatogram. This is called the solvent front. Mark also where each pigment stopped moving up the chromatogram. Using the equation below, determine a reference number for each pigment on the chromatograms. Depending on which chromatogram you are viewing, you should see greens, yellow/yellow orange, and red. All measurements should be in mm. (Any material which did not move from the
pencil dot is insoluble).

Rf = distance moved by compound from original spot divided by the
distance moved by solvent from original spot

Note: each pigment has a special name,
green = chlorophyll a or b
yellow/yellow orange = carotene
red = anthocyanin
brown = xanthophyll

The reference numbers for the chlorophylls in this activity are:
0.28 = chlorophyll a, 0.18 = chlorophyll b (spinach). You need these
numbers so that you can determine one chlorophyll from the other.
Calculate reference fronts for all of your pigments.

See if your calculations come close to those above for chlorophyll a and b.

Note: You can use different solvents such as mixtures involving petroleum ether
to do this sort of paper chromatography.

To view notes and a graphic showing a separation of plant pigments involving
paper chromatography, click here. Can you calculate the Rf values for the
pigments separated in this graphic?

1. What reference numbers (Rf) did you calculate for chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b?
2. With what you have discovered about pigments, what conclusions can you
make regarding the changing color of leaves in autumn?
3. What adaptive purpose do different colored pigments serve for a plant?
4. Why do some pigments move farther up the chromatogram than others?
5. What are some possible sources of error in this lab?

Paper chromatography is a technique used to separate a mixture into its component molecules. The molecules migrate, or move up the paper, at different rates because of differences in solubility, molecular mass, and hydrogen bonding with the paper.

For a simple, beautiful example of this technique, draw a large circle in the center of a piece of filter paper with a black water-soluble, felt-tip pen. Fold the paper into a cone and place the tip in a container of water. In just a few minutes you will have tie-dyed filter paper!

About the Author

James Bidlack

James E. Bidlack teaches at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Shelley Jansky

Shelley H. Jansky teaches at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.


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